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US Attorney's Office responds to BCA claim about task force body cameras following Winston Smith shooting in Minneapolis

The BCA said task force officers involved in the shooting death of Winston Smith in Minneapolis were not allowed to wear body cameras.

One day after the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said members of the North Star Fugitive Task Force – who were involved in the fatal shooting of Winston Boogie Smith in Minneapolis – are not allowed to wear body cameras, the U.S. Attorney's Office has issued a correction. 

The BCA press release issued Friday stated the following: "The U.S Marshal Service currently does not allow the use of body cameras for officers serving on its North Star Fugitive Task Force. There is no squad camera footage of the incident."

In a correction issued Saturday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota said the federal justice department began permitting task force officers to wear body cameras in October 2020, in addition to the U.S. Marshals Service beginning to phase-in the use of body cameras in February 2021. 

The phasing in of body cameras "continues to be implemented in the District of Minnesota," the release states. 

Smith, 32, of St. Paul, died of multiple gunshot wounds when members of the task force opened fire on him on the top level of a parking ramp at 1405 West Lake Street in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. 

The BCA said members of the task force were attempting to arrest Smith for a felony firearms violation, when "at one point a Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy and a Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy serving on the task force discharged their weapons."

Smith died at 2:11 p.m. Thursday, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner. 

The BCA says "evidence at the scene indicates" that Smith "fired his weapon from inside the vehicle," adding that investigators "recovered a handgun as well as spent cartridge cases from inside the driver’s compartment."

No further information has been released as the BCA continues to investigate. 

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

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